Forget what you’re hearing about Facebook
They aren’t and, yet, Facebook still managed to beat Wall Street’s expectations for revenue growth while meeting earnings estimates in its first-ever quarterly report as a public company:
|Metric||Estimate||Actual||Last Year||Y-o-Y Growth|
|Revenue||$1.15 billion||$1.18 billion||$895 mil.||32.3%|
Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Facebook press release.
Investors aren’t thrilled with the performance, and understandably so:
- After three years of generating hundreds of millions in free cash flow, Facebook is back to burning cash to fund growth. The social network consumed $171 million in net capital in Q2.
- Average Revenue Per User, or ARPU, a key metric that describes how well Facebook is monetizing its massive user base, rose just $0.02 to $1.28 per user.
- In what seems to be a nod to cloud computing peer salesforce.com, share-based compensation (read: employee stock options) accounted for $1.1 billion of Facebook’s $1.93 billion in second quarter operating expenses.
- Finally, payments and other fees brought in just $192 million in revenue during the quarter, essentially flat from last quarter and the quarter prior. All of which explains why Zynga
fell so far short of Q2 estimates. (Nasdaq: ZNGA)
Earlier this month, I predicted that Facebook would disappoint. But not because of missing profits or elusive cash flow. Rather, I said that an exodus of unique visitors could damage the social network’s efforts to make good on Wall Street’s revenue targets. I was wrong.
As it turns out, Facebook has proven as adept as Google
Do you agree? Disagree? Either way, Facebook is but one of many companies embracing the shift to the online world, creating a trillion dollar opportunity for the Rule Breaking investors who buy in early. Want details? Find everything you need in a new online special report -- it’s 100% free for a limited time so check it out now.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google and salesforce.com at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings, and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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